ENGIE Solutions Kuwait offers integrated solutions to lead Kuwait's transition to renewable energy
Spokesperson quoted: Yassine Lafhail, Country General Manager of ENGIE Solutions Kuwait
ENGIE Group is a global reference in low-carbon energy and services in 70 countries. The company comprises four Global Business Units, where two are operational in Kuwait: Thermal & Supply and Energy Solutions.
Our journey began in Kuwait in Thermal & Supply, with the construction of Az-Zour North power plant was our first in the country and Kuwait’s first Independent Water and Power Project (IWPP). We began operations in 2016 and continue to operate, producing 1.5 GW power and 486,000 m³/day of desalinated water.
While this asset is still in operations today, it is our Solutions business line which is most active. Operating under the umbrella of ENGIE Solutions, we have a range of projects in Kuwait that provide bespoke sustainable energy and services solutions. We are the trusted partner for companies, industries, and local authorities engaged in the carbon-neutral transition in Kuwait. We were the first energy solutions specialist in the country to launch an energy management team that paid for the savings they generated.
As Kuwait looks to reduce its greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, we have continued to support the country’s goals and ambitions in recent years. Mitigating Kuwait’s high per-capita power consumption is crucial, and ENGIE Solutions provides energy efficiency solutions for various facilities in Kuwait, including several mosques, hospitals, shopping complexes, and five-star hotels. Several of these projects require a significant upfront investment for retrofitting and installing new systems, and we offer turnkey solutions, including financing to several projects.
Over the years, we have greatly improved the efficiency and performance of various facilities and processes in Kuwait in terms of energy consumption, greenhouse gas emissions, productivity, and service life.
What are your future plans in the Kuwaiti market?
Part of Kuwait’s sustainability vision, looks to increase the share of renewables in its energy power mix to 15 percent by 2030. Our ambition is to become the leader in the energy transition. We are focused on optimizing the use of resources by improving the performance of our customers’ buildings, facilities, and processes in terms of energy consumption, greenhouse gas emissions, productivity, and lifespan.
How is ENGIE Solutions helping Kuwait reduce its carbon footprint?
Our global presence gives us access to the most advanced technologies, vast skills, resources, and significant investments in R&D and sustainable research. On the other hand, through long-term partnerships with customers in Kuwait, we continue in our journey to help transition to carbon-free energy.
While Kuwait firms up plans and strategies to reduce its reliance on fossil fuels and towards a low-carbon future, the current energy consumption remains high. One of our primary goals is to reduce this consumption and the related carbon footprint. We understand there is market hesitation towards nonfamiliar projects with high investment and almost no return on experience in Kuwait. To accelerate the energy transition, we continue to propose solutions with zero CapEx and zero liability to our clients. We audit, design, fund, execute and get paid back from the achieved savings and hand over a retrofitted, optimized, and smart facility to the owner after the contract period.
We continue to look at increasing the share of renewables in the overall energy mix. Like other GCC countries, Kuwait is ambitiously exploring green hydrogen projects, and we continue to collaborate and partner with them.
What are the most notable projects with the Kuwaiti government?
All our projects are of strategic importance. Every company, industry, or local authority has a crucial role in transitioning towards a carbon-free world.
The Kuwait Green Mosques Pilot Project is one of the projects that we are really proud of. It was created to reduce the energy consumption of more than 1800 mosques across Kuwait which is in line with Kuwait Vision 2035’s Sustainable development goals. Achieving 30% energy savings, the pilot project was delivered in partnership with the National Technology Enterprises Company and inaugurated by the Ministry of Islamic Affairs (AWQAF) and the Ministry of Electricity (MEW) in 2018. ENGIE Solutions implemented Energy Conservation Measures (ECM) following an energy audit of the mosque. Savings are monitored through a Smart Metering System. By installing energy-efficient systems, the project reduced the energy consumption of three mosques by a third while maintaining the comfort of worshippers during prayer times. We also supported 24/7/365 through a call-out feature. This indeed became the blueprint for similar projects in the future.
What are the most prominent solutions provided by ENGIE to Kuwait’s energy and water sectors?
Apart from providing desalinated water from Az Zour, we focus attention on Energy Service Company Models (ESCO), energy performance contracts, and integrated facilities management systems are other significant solutions, as 85 percent of the energy consumed by buildings in Kuwait in the summer goes to ventilation, air-conditioning, and lighting.
Our Solutions division is also actively developing solutions based on artificial intelligence (AI), Blockchain, and the Internet of Things (IoT) to unlock substantial savings. For instance: by helping to predict when and where building maintenance is required in advance.
Another signficiant achievement was the partnership with Trashtag Kuwait, where volunteers installed 200 water filters in several communities, helping more than 1,000 people by giving them access to a safe, clean, and sustainable water source. In alignment with Kuwait Vision 2035’s sustainable development goals, this initiative is also expected to prevent more than 2 million plastic water bottles from being used. Titled Project My Mai, the project provides sustainable drinking water solutions to low-income expat communities that have been affected by the pandemic.
Are there programs to empower human cadres you are considering launching in Kuwait in partnership with government agencies?
We are continuously organizing and participating in workshops and programs toward this end.
Last year we signed an agreement with the Ministry of Youth in Kuwait to receive and train 30 fresh graduated Kuwaiti engineers in energy solutions. Our commitment included hiring candidates at the end of the program, and today two Kuwaiti women have been appointed as sustainability and quality, health & safety engineers on our projects.
We also recently participated in a training program involving 90 school teachers to illustrate the latest hybrid and electric vehicles technologies to enable sustainable low-carbon growth for current and future generations.
In other initiatives, we organized a workshop on district cooling in the presence of the Undersecretary of the Ministry of Electricity & Water & Renewable Energy (MEW), cadres from the Kuwait Institute for Scientific Research (KISR) and other agencies.